A thing that bothers most novice roller coaster riders is the
possibility of getting sick. First it must be emphasised that a
coaster is one ride on which you are most unlikely to be sick.
It's undulating or spinning rides such as The "Trabant" or
"Gravitron" that give repetitive wave-like motions or submit
riders to constant high G-forces, that tend to cause vomiting.
However, there are still some who will get sick even on mild rides.
Here Are Preventive Methods:
THE FOLLOWING MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED
WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR ©
- Head Balance: Should you
feel ill, close your eyes so you can't see the horizon moving. On
constant G-force rides try to keep your head still and in the plane of
motion: that is, face the way you are travelling (if possible) and don't
lean your head. So on a ride like The "Loop-O-Plane" or its modern
version - "Kamikaze"\"Sky Master", keep your head squarely on your
Tilting your head sideways is likely to confuse your balance system which
may lead to queasiness. If you do feel nauseated, draw in large amounts of
air through your mouth and hold for a second or two, then repeat several
times. This will temporarily reduce the immediate urge to throw up,
hopefully until you exit the ride.
- Reduce Acids: Extra stomach
juices are secreted due to the stress of the rides on your body. These acids
cause upset which may lead to sickness. So never ride on a empty stomach
because there is no food there to absorb the acid. Instead, eat a small meal
one to two hours before riding. Since most of you readers are likely to
spend an entire day in a park I will give these breakfast suggestions:
- Avoid the Following:
coffee, tea, carbonated soft drinks, and fruit juices. These greatly
contribute to excess stomach acid which you want to avoid at all costs.
Also coffee, tea, and some soft drinks contain caffeine which can
elevate the heart rate. On a very hot day you might become overheated
and sweat more, causing dehydration. This would be uncomfortable at
the least and could lead to heat stroke at the most. As well,
carbonated beverages will contribute to a bloated feeling which may
lead to sickness. Another food for some people to avoid is egg yokes -
especially runny, undercooked ones.
- Foods to Eat would be
oatmeal, bread/toast, muffins, plain non-sugared doughnuts (referred
to as cake doughnuts), or non-sugary cereals. An overabundance of
sugar may cause hyper-activity which is to be avoided on hot days
where you will spend long periods in the sun. Do not eat excessive
amounts; in fact I suggest an amount slightly less than normal.
- Suggested Beverages
would be water or milk.
- Gravol: In addition, I can't
stress enough how well drugs like Gravol or the U.S. version - Dramamine,
work at averting motion sickness. Some people don't take it because the
active ingredient Dimenhydrinate, may cause tiredness. However a
time-release version overcomes this by giving an amount to help immediately
and then releasing small doses throughout the day. This slow release not
only makes the effect last over a long period of time, but also reduces the
chance of drowsiness because there will be such a small amount in your
system at any given instant.
Cost for Time-Release Gravol in capsule form,
ranges from about 30 to 50 cents Canadian per 75 milligram dose depending
on the quantity bought. It comes 10 or 30 capsules to a package. Note that
this drug is not as good a cure as it is a preventative, so you should take
it (preferably with the breakfast you should eat) an hour or so before
riding. I find that with Time Release Gravol I can eat moderately and
ride all day with absolutely no discomfort.
- Bonamine: An alternative to
Gravol is Bonamine. Its active ingredient, Meclizine, is said to
cause less drowsiness than Gravol. It is also available in a time-release
formula but is higher in cost than Gravol, at around 47 to 70 cents
Canadian per dose.
- The Patch: There is a patch
available that is worn on the body like a smoker's patch, but instead,
behind the ear. It should be placed in position about 12 hours before
riding. It works by administering the drug Scopolamine Hydrobromide
through the skin. It may be worn up to 3 days, but cannot be reused. Two
patches are provided for $12.99 Canadian, with only one worn per 3 days.
The active ingrediant is also available in oral form, but be aware that
either way, this drug may cause drowsiness in some users. Check the
- Ginger Capsules: Another
method is to try Ginger capsules. This herbal remedy works for some in a
manner similar to drinking non-carbonated ginger ale. Cost is about 24
cents Canadian per capsule.
- Wristband: For those that wish
to try a drug-free method, there are wristbands that apply pressure to an
acupuncture point on the forearm. One brand is Sea-Band which sells for
$17.99 Canadian for two bracelets. Both must be worn, one on each
wrist in the correct position to be effective. Even worn properly, this
product may not work for everyone.
- Doctor Visit: Finally, for
those that are still having troubles, schedule a visit with an ear doctor.
There may be a problem with inner ear fluids or other, and he/she should be
able to sort out your difficulties.
(Thanks to pharmacist Yvette Richard of Shoppers
Drug Mart in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada for
providing information on Bonamine, Scopolamine,
Sea-Band and Ginger Capsules.)
Prices are Subject to Change.
Here are some other Views:
Motion Sickness Prevention Websites
HAPPY RIDING !!!